Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hannah Cunliffe wins first pro race at Grenada Invitational...

ST. GEORGES, Grenada—Competing in her first race as a professional, Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the 100 meters Saturday night at the Grenada Invitational track & field meet at Kirani James Stadium.

Cunliffe, who left the University of Oregon at the start of the 2018 indoor season to turn professional and run for adidas, did not get a good start, as she appeared to leave her drive phase earlier than the other runners in the field.

However, she fought through her struggles with the start and made up ground over the last 30 meters to catch 2012 Olympic 4x100 relay gold medalist Jeneba Tarmoh and fellow American Destiny Carter to get the victory in 11.42.

Tarmoh was clocked in 11.44, with Carter at 11.51.

In a post race interview with ESPN reporter Jill Montgomery, Cunliffe, who is now back in the Seattle area training under her father and Seattle Speed coach Mike Cunliffe, said, “I knew that my start was going to be kind of rocky, but I got it together at the end, so I’m happy about that.”

On leaving the University of Oregon, where despite the accolades and top finishes during the indoor and the first part of the outdoor season, but couldn’t be around for the NCAA outdoor championships the last two seasons due to injuries, she said, “That was the main goal—to get healthy and come out and run injury free, and I’m pleased.”

Complete results of the Grenada Invitational are available here.

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